There was no reference to the president or racism in Spike Lee’s Oscar-acceptance speech, but somehow President Trump took Lee’s plea for love and morality as a “racist hit” on him.
During Sunday night’s 91st Academy Awards in Los Angeles, the famous director accepted his first competitive Oscar win for best adapted screenplay for his film “BlacKkKlansman.” Lee praised his ancestors’ history in a speech he read off a yellow piece of paper, then mentioned the 2020 presidential election coming up, saying voters should “make the moral choice between love versus hate.”
“Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes, or better yet not have to use notes at all, when doing his racist hit on your President, who has done more for African Americans (Criminal Justice Reform, Lowest Unemployment numbers in History, Tax Cuts, etc.) than almost any other Pres!” Trump wrote in a tweet Monday morning.
While it’s true that unemployment rates for African-Americans have dropped to record lows, an analysis by Reuters found those jobs are primarily concentrated in low-paying industries such as food services and retail. Trump has also repeatedly taken sole credit for this gain in jobs despite its rise actually beginning in the Obama administration.
Additionally, Lee did not accuse Trump of racism in his speech — he spoke of the historic oppression his family faced, and the desire to be “on the right side of history.”
“Our ancestors were stolen from Mother Africa and brought to Jamestown, Virginia, enslaved,” Lee said in his acceptance speech Sunday night. “Our ancestors worked the land from can’t see in the morning to can’t see at night. My grandmother, who lived to be 100 years young, who was a Spelman College graduate even though her mother was a slave. My grandmother who saved 50 years of social security checks to put her first grandchild — she called me Spikie-poo — she put me through Morehouse College and NYU grad film.”
He continued on, saying, “Let’s all mobilize, let’s all be on the right side of history.”
“Make the moral choice between love versus hate,” Lee said. “Let’s do the right thing!”
Cover: Charlie Wachtel, left, and Spike Lee accept the award for best adapted screenplay for "BlacKkKlansman" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)